The role of Mentoring and Alumni relations in a career progression plan

October 13, 2015

Today's employees are increasingly focused on their personal career progression, both inside their current organization and beyond it. This represents a significant shift from previous generations of workers, where the ideal career track was to stay at one company and work one's way "up the ladder."

Modern workers are more concerned about personal and professional growth, building a portfolio career, than staying loyal to a single employer. This change has had a dramatic impact on employer-employee relations: a recent Harvard Business Review article reports that 90% of today's corporate recruiters believe the current job market is candidate-driven. 70% of millennials, who now represent the largest population in the U.S. workforce, will leave their jobs within two years.

Meeting the Modern Demand for a Career Progression Plan

Now that employees are frequently changing positions to further their individual career progression, companies must change the way they think about employee development. Facilitating employee progression is one of the key factors of creating what Josh Bersin calls "the irresistible organization"; according to his research, companies that invest heavily in training and development outperform their competitors in nearly every field.

Leading companies are finding that effective mentoring and a transparent alumni relations program improve their brand equity when on boarding and off boarding employees. These initiatives show employees that the organization is committed to career progression through continuous learning and facilitated career mobility.

Mentoring in a Career Progression Plan

Employee mentoring programs allow employees to diversify their skills. Through mentoring they learn new techniques and ideas in the workplace and improve upon the ones they already know, which helps them go further in their careers. Mentoring isn't only beneficial for employees: a strong mentoring program will also help an organization build a thriving leadership succession pipeline, ensuring that exiting managers and executives are replaced efficiently.

It's not enough to simply create a mentoring program. The entire organization must adopt a culture of learning, one that embraces employee mobility and supports the development of all employees, not just new hires or those in training for leadership roles. TELUS, a large telecommunications company based in Vancouver, was able to increase employee engagement from 53% to 83% by shifting their culture to focus on learning and mentoring.

Alumni Relations in a Career Progression Plan

Employee off boarding represents both risk and opportunity for organizations. A poor experience might result in damaged brand equity while a positive experience could result in a life-long, mutually beneficial relationship between the organization and former employee. Alumni programs that provides career progression resources for former employees are an effective method of reducing hiring costs and attracting top talent.

Supporting Alumni and providing them with continued support is important for showing employees that a company is committed to helping employees with their career progression plan, even after they have left the organization. This improves an employer's brand by indicating sensitivity to the needs of today's mobile workers. An alumni program shows that the company wants its employees to succeed and grow no matter where they work.

For more information about how an alumni program can help you improve your employees' career progression, contact us for a customized demo of Insala's alumni software.

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